A Section 32 settlement for workers’ compensation allows the injured worker and insurance company to settle on a lump sum amount. Once they agree to the settlement, the insurance company will pay the injured party the agreed-upon lump sum.
Once the insurance company pays the lump sum, they are no longer required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to the injured party. The lump sum could help injured workers pay for their medical care or lost wages in the future instead of continuing to receive monetary benefits from workers’ compensation insurance.
What is a Section 32 Settlement?
A Section 32 settlement is a waiver agreement between the injured worker and their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. When the two parties agree to the Section 32 settlement, the injured worker no longer receives weekly workers’ compensation benefits but instead receives a lump sum from the insurance provider.
This is an optional agreement between the injured party and the insurance provider. If someone knows the extent of their injuries and the medical care they require, they could benefit from a lump sum payment. It is the decision of the injured party if they feel comfortable accepting such an arrangement.
Once the two parties agree upon a Section 32 settlement, the injured worker immediately stops receiving compensation for further medical care or lost income. That’s why it’s wise for the injured party to weigh their options carefully and seek professional advice first.
What Damages Can the Injured Party Include in a Section 32 Settlement?
Typically, the injured party can include the financial damages they incurred due to their injury. A workers’ compensation attorney Los Angeles can provide legal guidance and determine the damages the injured party sustained, possibly including:
- Medical bills: In their lump sum payment, the injured party could recover any out-of-pocket medical expenses they’ve paid to date. This could include the cost of emergency room care, hospitalizations, diagnostic tests, surgeries, doctor visits, and medications.
- Future medical bills: Attorneys can work with medical care providers to determine the estimated value of future medical costs. The injured party could seek to recover this value during settlement negotiations.
- Lost income: If the injured party missed work due to their injuries, they could recover compensation for their lost income during that time. They could also include the projected value of future lost income in their claim.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can calculate all of these damages to determine a fair lump sum amount of compensation to seek during settlement negotiations.
Common Stages in a Section 32 Settlement
When an injured worker wants to move forward with a Section 32 settlement, some common stages of the process often take place, including:
- The injured employee may contact a workers’ compensation attorney. The lawyer can contact the insurer and request to settle the claim.
- The insurance company typically creates a settlement agreement. The injured party and their lawyer can agree or disagree with the settlement amount. If they disagree, they can begin negotiations. An attorney can negotiate by using the calculated value of the damages when fighting to receive the desired settlement amount.
- When the injured party and the insurer agree to a settlement, they can take the case in front of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
- The Workers’ Compensation Board can approve or deny the settlement. If it’s approved, the insurer must pay the injured party the agreed-upon lump sum.
These stages are necessary for the injured worker to receive a lump sum for their injury. Once the parties agree and the board approves, the injured party cannot reopen the case, even if their injury worsens in the future. Settling the workers’ compensation claim means they can no longer receive compensation after they receive the lump sum.
Should You Settle in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Determining whether a settlement is the best option for you in a workers’ compensation case can be complicated. Reasons a settlement might be in your best interest include:
- Your doctor believes your injuries won’t require significant medical care in the future (meaning you won’t need weekly or monthly medical care payments). Before settling a claim, it is critical to verify that a future surgery or other expensive medical procedure isn’t necessary.
- You believe the settlement amount you agree upon will cover your lost income. The severity of your injuries and your ability to work in the same capacity could impact your earning capabilities in the future.
A workers’ compensation attorney can advise you on what is best for your specific situation. Seeking legal guidance can help to ensure you don’t settle for less than you deserve or could need in the future. Once you settle, your relationship with the insurer ends after they pay the lump sum.
A Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help You Decide If a Section 32 Settlement is Right for You
If you want more information about what a Section 32 settlement for workers’ compensation is and whether it’s the right choice for you, an attorney can provide guidance. The workers’ compensation attorneys at KJT Law Group understand workers’ compensation benefits and when it may be the right choice to accept a settlement. Our attorneys can help you weigh your options and calculate how much you should receive. They can advocate for you throughout negotiations with the insurer.
Contact the KJT Law Group or call (818) 507-8525 today to schedule your free consultation. We can review your case at no cost and determine whether a Section 32 settlement is the best option for you. If it is, we can guide you through the process of receiving a settlement agreement. With our team by your side, you can feel confident in your decision to pursue a settlement or continue with regular payments.